Russia could target GPS, warns NRO director

February 24, 2022  - By
NRO Director Christopher Scolese

NRO Director Christopher Scolese

Russia’s military could target GPS and communication satellites as part of its war in Ukraine, reports Space News.

The news outlet cites U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Director Christopher Scolese speaking Feb. 23 at the National Security Space Association’s Defense and Intelligence Space Conference.

“I think we’re seeing pretty clearly that Russia is committed to doing what they want to do in Ukraine, and they want to win,” Scolese said. “So I think it’s fair to assume that, to the extent that they can, and to the extent that they feel it won’t extend the conflict out of their control, that they will extend it into space.” 

An attempt to disrupt the United States’ space ability could affect satellites of private operators as well, such as Maxar, which is distributing imagery of the conflict.

The U.S. Air Force’s Lockheed Martin-built next generation GPS III satellite on orbit. Rendering portrays GPS III Space Vehicles (SVs) 01-10. (Artist's Rendering: Lockheed Martin)

A next-generation GPS III satellite on orbit. (Artist’s Rendering: Lockheed Martin)

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About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.